Postal service looking to cut Saturday for 5-day delivery cost cutting plan
March 2, 2010
(ChattahBox) – Say goodbye to Saturday mail, if the U.S. Postal Service gets its way. Postmaster General John Potter will move soon toward reducing mail delivery from six days a week to five, in order to reduce the agency’s massive debt. Potter said Monday he’ll submit a formal request by the end of this month to the Postal Regulatory Commission, which must issue an advisory opinion on any change in mail service that would have national impact. USPS will also suggest closing some branches and expanding its use of self-service kiosks in grocery stores and other popular retail spots, as part of its effort to work its way out of debt.
Potter is to release the details today of a $4.8-million study that projects how steeply mail volume will fall and how deeply the Postal Service will be in debt by 2020. USPS posted a $3.8 billion loss in its 2009 fiscal year, the latest in a multiyear string of whopping losses. Mail volume was down 12.7% for the year, a trend the agency expects to continue over the next decade as more consumers opt for online bill payments and message delivery. The Postal Service already has borrowed $10 billion from the U.S. Treasury. Potter said it expects to borrow another $3 billion this year, leaving it just $2 billion under the $15-billion cap set by Congress.
Once Potter makes the request, the commission plans to hold public hearings around the nation and seek expert testimony. Even if the commission approves the dropped day, the Postal Service also needs congressional consent: Federal law requires six-day delivery.